Look, good movies are good. Great movies are great. Masterful movies are masterpieces. Movies that are compelling and well-made in all regards are fantastic, rewarding, and even exhilarating to watch. If good movies did not exist, and the experience of watching every movie was an unpleasant one, pop culture websites like the one you’re currently browsing wouldn’t exist and, in all likelihood, no one would really care much for film as an art form.
That being said, there is also something fun about watching a movie that’s kind of bad. The term “so bad it’s good” refers to this phenomenon of enjoying something even if it doesn’t feel particularly well-made, and just as there’s no shortage of good movies to enjoy normally, so too is there no shortage of bad movies to enjoy ironically. The following are all available to stream on Netflix, and are more or less bad enough to be good.
10 ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ (2018)
Director: Julius Onah
The Cloverfield series is an interesting one, with three films within it so far that are all very different. The first one (Cloverfield) from 2008 is a found footage monster movie. The second (10 Cloverfield Lane) from 2016 is a much smaller-scale (and arguably better) movie about three people hiding in an underground bunker from some sort of outside threat.
Enter the third movie to feature the Cloverfield name,The Cloverfield Paradox, which takes place on a spaceship and has a plot that involves a mysterious alternative dimension. It wasn’t well-received and is now among the worst movies on Netflix, but when approached with the knowledge that the Cloverfield sequel is kind of silly and far-fetched throughout, it provides a little mindless entertainment.
The Cloverfield Paradox
- Release Date
- February 4, 2018
- 102 minutes
9 ‘Enter the Anime’ (2019)
Director: Alex Burunova
It’s probably more than simply an acquired taste to find humor in bad documentaries, but for those who can, this hour-long Netflix special might make for a good laugh. One of the best bad movies on Netflix, Enter the Anime provides what’s at best a surface-level look at anime, and if the 2.6/10 rating on IMDb is anything to go by, maybe the only way to get anything from it is to treat it like a so bad it’s good documentary (certainly not a great documentary film, by any means).
Otherwise, anime fans who don’t get a kick out of bad documentary filmmaking should probably steer clear, or run the risk of getting very frustrated. It’s an exercise in how not to make a documentary, and feels hastily thrown together and poorly researched throughout… but at least it only goes for about an hour.
8 ‘Tall Girl’ (2019)
Director: Nzingha Stewart
Tall Girl is a movie about a tall girl in high school who finds it difficult to be very tall. The struggles of being tall – and trying to minimize tallness – are explored throughout, and as the movie goes on, the tall girl from Tall Girl realizes maybe being a tall girl isn’t so bad, and embraces the whole being tall thing. And then the movie ends.
However, the Tall Girl saga doesn’t end there! There’s also the unnecessary sequel to the movie, Tall Girl 2, released in 2022, for anyone who wants to see some more tall girl trials and tribulations. Ultimately, it seems like many enjoy hate-watching the Tall Girl series, which could help the films reach new heights for viewers who get enjoyment out of something that’s not very good.
- Release Date
- September 13, 2019
- Nzingha Stewart
7 ‘The Last Days of American Crime’ (2020)
Director: Olivier Megaton
For anyone who likes their so bad they’re good movies long, The Last Days of American Crime has you covered. This slightly futuristic action/crime movie runs for almost two and a half hours, and features a far-fetched story about the U.S. Government planning to broadcast a signal that will make willingly committing a crime impossible.
It’s a bit like the classic Steven Spielberg thriller, Minority Report, but not good. Dystopian movies have been popular lately, and maybe this somewhat outlandish premise could have been handled in a way that would be enjoyable… but The Last Days of American Crime fails to do that. For the wild narrative and ridiculously over-the-top violence, The Last Days of American Crime could serve as an enjoyable watch in the right mindset (as long as you can get past the long runtime).
the last days of american crime
- Release Date
- June 5, 2020
6 ‘Death Note’ (2017)
Director: Adam Wingard
Netflix hasn’t always had a great run of adapting famous anime shows to live-action, with 2017’s Death Note being the first notable adaptation hurdle they failed to clear. It has the same great premise as the anime: a high school student gets a notebook that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it, and he uses this newfound power to take out criminals, attempting to change the world for the better… at least at first.
Everything an adaptation shouldn’t do, 2017’s live-action adaptation ends up doing. The anime still holds up, but at best, this live-action version of Death Note might be good for a mindless laugh, and little else, even with its talented cast and director, who have all been involved in much better movies.
- Release Date
- August 25, 2017
5 ‘365 Days’ (2020)
Directors: Barbara Białowąs and Tomasz Mandes
365 Days might be the Holy Grail of notoriously bad Netflix movies. It caused a stir when released in 2020, due to the quality (or lack thereof) of its writing and directing, and for its excessively racy content, but has seemingly drifted from public consciousness… yet the fact it was a flash in the pan didn’t stop a sequel from being greenlit and released in 2022.
The 50 Shades of Grey movies aren’t exactly seen as high-class cinema, even by the standards of erotic thrillers and high-intensity romance movies, but they look like Academy Award-winning movies compared to 365 Days. Ridiculous, over-the-top, melodramatic, and unapologetically crass and sleazy, 365 Days is too mesmerizingly dumb to look away from, even if part of your brain is screaming at you to do so.
- Release Date
- February 7, 2020
- Barbara Bialowas , Tomasz Mandes
- Michele Morrone , Bronislaw Wroclawski , Otar Saralidze , Magdalena Lamparska , Natasza Urbanska , Anna-Maria Sieklucka
- 114 minutes
4 ‘The Kissing Booth’ (2018)
Director: Vince Marcello
There’s a range of silly romantic comedies on Netflix, and among the most famous of them would have to be The Kissing Booth. It’s even spawned a couple of sequels at this point, despite the original only being a few years old… it’s clearly profitable a series (somehow), because otherwise why else would there be so many? For what it’s worth, movies like The Kissing Booth seem to do well on streaming platforms, in any event.
The first movie in this series follows the main character beginning a relationship with a popular boy in high school after having her first kiss with him, with conflict coming about because it puts a close friendship in jeopardy. The Kissing Booth is stupid and fluffy, and might be fun to laugh at, or otherwise watch as some kind of guilty pleasure (and if one’s not enough, there’s always a second and third movie too).
- Release Date
- May 11, 2018
- Vince Marcello
- Megan du Plessis , Lincoln Pearson , Caitlyn de Abrue , Jack Fokkens , Stephen Jennings , Chloe Williams
3 ‘How It Ends’ (2018)
Director: David M. Rosenthal
How It Ends feels haphazardly put together and seems as though it came into existence without much passion or creativity behind it. As such, it’s extremely difficult to engage with seriously, and so it’s better enjoyed (if enjoyment is even possible) as something that can perhaps be laughed at or ridiculed. The plot revolves around a man trying to get back to his family, all the while the world seems to be ending due to mysterious events; the kind of thing you’ve probably seen play out before.
How It Ends is an uneven and overall just not good apocalypse-themed movie, and has the “honor” of being considered one of the worst Netflix movies in the streaming service’s increasingly vast library. Funnily enough, there was another movie about the apocalypse with exactly the same title that came out in 2021, so if anyone is still itching to find out How It Ends beyond this 2018 film, you’re in luck.
2 ‘Fatal Affair’ (2020)
Director: Peter Sullivan
It’s hard to expect much out of a movie that has a title as generic as “Fatal Affair.” At least the similarly titled Fatal Attraction just sounds a little better, or maybe simply has the right number of syllables. That thriller has fans and some kind of legacy, and it’s natural for it to spawn potential imitators… but it has to be said that Fatal Affair just sounds like it was spat out by an algorithm, and the bluntness of it all might well be respectable, in a strange way.
The plot summary is unlikely to inspire a great deal more faith in the movie, given it reveals that Fatal Affair is simply about a woman trying to repair her marriage while also trying to avoid the potentially unstable David – an old friend she recently met up with. It’s silly, melodramatic, and unapologetically old-fashioned as a thriller, but that might also be what makes it uniquely enjoyable.
1 ‘The Silence’ (2019)
Director: John R. Leonetti
There have been many interesting and underrated movies starring Stanley Tucci, but The Silence isn’t one of them. The Silence is a fairly generic post-apocalyptic thriller/survival movie about a family trying to survive a dangerous cult and a swarm of creatures that hunt by sound.
The latter plot element certainly makes it sound a great deal like The Quiet Place, and given it came out more than a year after that film’s release, there’s a chance it was trying to chase its success. The Quiet Place certainly isn’t a perfect movie, but it is a pretty solid one, meaning it might be fun to compare and contrast what it does right with what The Silence does wrong, making them a yin and yang sort of pairing.
- Release Date
- April 10, 2019
- 90 minutes
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